U.S. to reopen land border to fully vaccinated Canadians next month

Fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States at land and ferry border crossings starting in early November.

Senior U.S. officials announced Tuesday night a plan to begin reopening the land borders with Canada and Mexico, which have been closed for non-essential travel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

An exact date for the reopening has not yet been determined, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters earlier about the plan during a conference call.

They said a number of details are still being worked out, including the type of documentation that will be accepted to prove a traveller’s vaccination status.

The U.S. is also awaiting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about travellers who received mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines or the AstraZeneca vaccine. The U.S. has not approved the mixing of vaccine doses or the AstraZeneca vaccine for its own residents.

However, an official on the call noted that the CDC plans to recommend the acceptance of air travellers who have been inoculated with any vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, which includes AstraZeneca. The official said a similar rule should be expected at land crossings.

Tuesday night’s announcement about the reopening came shortly after Rep. Brian Higgins — a New York Democrat who has been one of the loudest critics in Washington of the continued border restrictions — broke the news in a written statement.

“The sigh of relief coming from northern border communities following this announcement is so loud it can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge,” Higgins said in the statement, referring to the span that connects Buffalo, N.Y., to Fort Erie, Ont., and one of the busiest bridges between the two countries. 

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